Friday, January 4, 2008

The Man and the Sea

In a village somewhere near the jungle, there lived a group of people who work away from their homes. Some of them work in or near the the sea as fishermen while the others spend practically all of their time in the desert and jungle. At one time during this gathering, the village elders summoned all village people of age to teach them an important lesson that they will have to learn in order to survive life. In this gathering, the village elders taught the people the basic mechanics of and the problems that may be encountered when swimming.

The fishermen nodded in understanding and asked questions on what the elders taught. Some too eagerly. The other half, who spend their days working their whole lives in the desert and the jungle, can barely comprehend what the elders were saying. Some were able to understand the basic mechanics of swimming - that you need to move your arms and legs in order to float and that you need to breath once in while. Others, lacking the experience (some of them haven't even seen what the sea looks like), were at a total loss.

One of the non-fisherman people, Aethel, is planning to move to a different village to become a fisherman and is trying as hard as he could to understand what the hell the village elders were talking about. He is not sure whether his plans will come to fruition but just in case, just in case it comes true, he will need to learn all that he could about swimming. At the start of his working life, he wanted to be a fisherman. But the village elders, in all their knowledge or folly, assigned him the task of planting crops, hunting, gathering and all the other odd work that the elders decide from time to time, including an assignment to build a boat for the fishermen. In short, he became the jack of most trades but the master of nothing.

At the end of the village gathering, the non-fishermen folks went to their homes, shaking their heads in confusion. For most of them, this gathering has just been a waste of time. They learned nothing that they could use in their daily work and home life. It doesn't matter. They will soon forget that this gathering ever happened. The next day, they would resume their work as they have always done for most of their lives.

However, for Aethel, this gathering is a lost opportunity for learning. Try as he could to learn, he has had no experience to fully comprehend and learn the knowledge that the village elders imparted. He went home, sighed, and hoped that when the time comes, he can apply to working in the sea what he learned from his years of working the land.


Another Saturday morning and I have to attend a training on derivatives and embedded derivatives. Not that I don't know anything about these things, I once worked on an engagement where we supposedly identified embedded derivatives from the client's purchase and other contracts.

But when I got to the training, I could not comprehend what the partner and the manager was saying. Majority of the topics discussed relates to derivatives and embedded derivatives applicable to banks and financial institutions. Sure I was able to learn some of the basic concepts. But, having no experience in banking, I failed to see or appreciate this nor can I see the benefits of these knowledge in my immediate future.

When I entered auditing, I wanted to be assigned to the banking group but I was assigned to the manufacturing, real estate, construction, retailing, and others group. Not that I didn't enjoy working in this industries, but I feel that I just haven't mastered any industry at all.

And now I am planning to work abroard, where most of the jobs available are in the line of banks and financial institutions. Tsk tsk tsk. Poor me. Maybe I'll just learn auditing financial institutions when I get there. After all, I'm a fast learner and fast worker (or so some of my managers believe).


The training is over. Nothing has changed. Nothing new mastered.

I am sitting here in our office typing this blog.

Looking back on the good times.

Being depressed on the present.

Hoping for the best in the future.

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